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12.04.2005 General News

Church's Beliefs Killing Children, But Father Charges…

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Even Kufuor Can't Chastise Me A 14-year old girl, Mabel Acquah, who is suffering from an enormous tumor growing out from the back of her head, is about to die because her parents have refused her medical treatment.
The rejection of medical treatment is based on the religious beliefs and doctrine of the church, the Jesus Christ Apostolic Faith Church, to which the family belongs. The girl's father, Brother Acquah, a prominent member of the church's Weija branch in Accra said in an interview with The Independent that according to the Bible, God created all human beings and thus we should rely on him. "We don't need a doctor, God will solve our problems," Mr Acquah who lives at New Weija, popularly known as SCC, a suburb of Accra, says. But the problem with Mr Acquah's firstborn, who according to him, is the only one out of his six children who ever caused him trouble by suffering from any kind of disease, may soon be solved in the most disastrous way.
An expert on the field, a surgeon whose name cannot be published because he performs his duty at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, did not hesitate to establish that Mabel Acquah will die soon unless she goes through a surgical operation. Looking at the girl, the surgeon explained that the tumor itself is not fatal, but due to the current size of it, it will eventually compress the big vessel of the neck cutting off the afflux of blood to the brain. As the surface of the tumor is now fast crawling from the back of the head to the neck it is also only a matter of time before it will block the respiratory passages. "It will choke her to death," the surgeon said.
Mr Acquah, who is clearly unhappy with the inquiries made by this paper, says that when the tumor first was discovered about five years ago at that time much smaller than it appears today, he went to the hospital every two weeks. However, the effort and the ¢10 million he spent on hospital bills seemed wasted to him, since the tumor did not disappear. It was around that time that he found the Jesus Christ Apostolic Faith Church and was convinced that medical treatment was not the solution for his daughter.
However, according to the surgeon from the Military Hospital, the tumor would have been relatively easy to remove had it received the proper surgical attention when it was fresh and small. As the tumor appears now it will need a larger operation, but it is still possible to operate, the surgeon intimated.
Mr Acquah however, is adamant to hand his oldest daughter over for medical treatment. "The doctors are out of my life now. I will not step into the hospital again," he says and emphasizes that his rejection of letting his daughter receive medical treatment has nothing to do with the costs of it. It has only to do with the doctrine of his church.
"The doctors can do it, but good Christians don't rely on that," he adds and underlines his seriousness by saying that he will defend his position even if President Kufuor should call him and make inquiries. The pastors and the elders stated that II Chronicles 16, verses 12-13 are particularly clear on the subject.

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